We needed to bounce back strongly after losing the first ODI, so we were all obviously delighted to travel back to Colombo with the series
all-square. I thought we played some much better cricket and to win so emphatically was a real confidence booster.
I must admit that we were not so confident after the first three overs of the game. We let India off the hook early on in the first ODI and it looked like we were following a similar script on Tuesday as India raced along at 10 runs per over. It’s not easy but you have to stay calm and be patient in such circumstances.
Cricket is a game that can quickly change. Isuru (Udana) was making his debut and was understandably a bit tense, especially having to contend with a roaring cross-wind.
But Thisara (Perera) is turning out to be a big match-turner for us in recent times. He’s really improved as a bowler, benefiting greatly from his
time with the Mumbai Indians and the help he received from Shaun Pollock, as well from our bowling coach Champika (Ramanayake).
In addition to his technical improvements, he also plays with a great deal of self-confidence and that’s very important. In difficult situations he is always willing to put his hand up. That’s a trait that a few of our top bowlers have and it’s really valuable.
I was also impressed with Angelo (Matthews) who supported him brilliantly and Lasith (Malinga) who came back well after an expensive time in the first match. I know much was written about him about his performance after that game, but the big picture is this - in the last 18 months Lasith has taken 76 wickets in 49 ODI’s, which is brilliant by anyone’s standards.
The way we confidently knocked off our total was also reassuring. Upul (Tharanga) played some wonderful shots and looked to have played himself back into his best form. I hope he can know take that into the rest of the series.
While it’s a great feeling to have levelled the series, we have three matches remaining and we must win two of those. Today’s game is therefore
crucially important. We will be playing in front of the biggest crowd of the series, this being a Saturday game in Colombo and hopefully that home support will inspire us to lift our game even higher.
Professional Management Group